Securing paid, meaningful employment for our graduates is a pillar of the Next Steps vision. Career exploration and job training are driven by each student’s interests and plans for the future.
Career development occurs in and outside of the classroom. Within our Career Technology courses, students have the opportunity to explore career fields with career assessments and guided activities using the internet. Students also receive support with a job search, the development of resumes, applications, and interviewing skills.
Additionally, all students complete internships as part of their program requirements. These internships help refine career goals, develop transferable job skills, and gain employability skills. Each student graduates with generalizable skills and a resume of work experience from a variety of internship sites.
Job coaches offer support for students at their internships, helping students to fully learn the required job tasks and enhance soft skills. These coaches eventually fade out so that students are working completely independently. Support is personalized to the student and is based on the student’s skills and the work place.
As a four-year program, we plan to expand our career development initiative by:
- Increasing work-based learning options for lower classmen to explore and sample career tracks through job shadowing rotations and career exploration field trips covering all sixteen career clusters.
- Developing more intensive, paid internships for upperclassmen.
- Offering vocational trade options through a partnership with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT).
- Employment Outcomes Celebration- 86% of Next Steps graduates have paid employment.
For a list of past internship sites and places our students are currently employed, click here.